An Open Letter To My Schematic Capture Software

Dear Mentor,

If you think petty error messages can dissuade me, no matter how obscure or how little information given, you are sorely mistaken.

I will connect the underlying schematic through this hierarchical block like an underlying schematic has never been connected through a heirarchical block before.

And your momma, too.


Ice, Solder and Fletch

There is simply no elegant way to cough with an ice cube in your mouth. And yet, sometimes you must.

I am about to go solder six 0402 size capacitors onto the circuit board I am testing. I have never worked with 0402 size capacitors. They are small enough that you could probably fit a good 5 or 6 on the back of a ladybug. I know people do it. I’m just not sure how.

I am a fan of the Gregory McDonald mystery novels, which most folks know from the Fletch movie adaptation1. The humor style of the books is different from the movie, largely because Chevy Chase is just being himself, doing his own thing. I like both.

I used to own every Fletch, Flynn and Skylar novel, and re-read each many, many times. They are not great literature (Mr. McDonald is a bit heavy-handed with getting a theme across at times) but I like the writing style and his plots are often rollicking. It got to the point, though, where I decided I had just read them enough, and they had to go. I considered bundling them all up and selling that whole batch on eBay, but in the end we gave them to our friend Sarah for a garage sale.

The last thing I had read of his was Skylar in Yankeeland in 1997.

Lo and behold, on a whim, I did a search on Amazon for him today, and he published Flynn’s World in 2003. I’ve been waiting 10 years for a new book, and I only had to wait six! Sheesh.

And on further investigation, I see Fletch Won, the first of the Fletch prequels, is slated to be a movie in 2007. IMDb says rumors are Zach Braff is scheduled to play the lead. I’ll go with that.

1 Though not the Fletch Lives sequel, which had nothing to do with the book series storyline, largely because the ending of the original movie was different from the book (and much inferior, IMHO).

T minues 1 week and More People From My Neighborhood

From the guy who brought you The Dump email…

“Sounds like the cure is worse than the solution.”
-My soon to be ex-boss

Also, please welcome another blast from the past, !
She’s one of those jazz-singing/OBGYN doctor/mother of twins that are all
the rage these days.

was a freshman when I was a junior in high school
and had the good sense to stay in the Cincinnati area so she could have
access to Skyline Chili. There were probably some other reasons, but
that’s the one that sticks in my mind.

Her blog on the joys and sorrows of raising a pair of twins can be found
at, but I sucked her into LJ so she could
comment without being anonymous.

Digital Pack Rat

We’re moving from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003 here at work today.

My computer has been archiving Lotus emails for something like 2 hours now. The IT people are appalled that I don’t delete email.

IT Guy: (looking at the ongoing archive) Ah, well that’s the sent box. People rarely delete anything in their sent box, so it usually takes
a while to do the archiving.
Me: I never delete anything. In any box.
IT Guy: What?
Me: I have a bad memory, so I never delete anything in case I need to go back and remember what was going on.
IT Guy: (stares in horrified silence)
Me: So this might take a while, huh?
IT Guy: (more horrified silence)
Me: Okay.
IT Guy: (dies)

In other news, today’s conspiracy theory:

: By the same token, I’ll have one extra trivia game this month.
: December has five Thursdays, not four.
: Such inconsistency. Those dweebs who invented the calendar have got something comin’ to them.
: It isn’t their fault the Earth’s orbit is 365 1/4 days long.
: Yes it is.
: They don’t control angular momentum.
: You know this?
: Did you ASK them?
: Well…uh…
: I mean, people don’t…
: Okay, no. I haven’t asked them.
: I’m beginning to think you may be involved as well, seeing as you’re so hot to defend them.
: I have a list of 49 card carrying angular momentum controllers… and you may be on it.
: :-S


There is a really, really annoying buzzing sound coming from some of the overhead lighting near my cube this morning.

So, if I go on a crazy rampage this afternoon, all of you can explain why to the police later.

Searching for Bobby Repairer

You know the scenes in Searching for Bobby Fisher in the park, where there are these animated, low-down dirty drug usin’ chess players? They curse and gesticulate and use intimidation tactics while playing chess?

That’s what our break room is like during break time for the repair center.

I just saw a guy stand up, slam a knight from one position to the other, and yell “Damn! I got your ass on the run now!”

They also play dominoes with the same enthusiasm.

Is this a great company, or what?

I was kind of irked with the company I work for. This past December 20 was my five year anniversary, which is longer than I’ve worked for any one company.

With other people who reach that milestone (and the 10, 20 and 30 year milestones), they get a gift of some sort, usually at the quarterly company-wide meetings, which we don’t do anymore. So December 20 came and went, and no email acknowledgement or nothin’.

But today, at our department meeting, I got a framed certificate and a very nice, heavy, crystal vase.

That, and an extra week of vacation. Which is the greatest gift of all.